LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Washington Redskins ran and ran and ran some more. They did let Kirk Cousins throw the ball some, and he came through with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant with 1:49 to play to give the Redskins a 27-20 victory Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams and rookie head coach Sean McVay. But this victory was earned with smash-mouth running. The Redskins (1-1) rushed 39 times for 229 yards, including touchdowns of 71 and 7 yards by Chris Thompson.
Redskins win over Rams
This was billed a showdown between McVay and his former boss, Redskins coach Jay Gruden. Gruden got the upper hand with his play calling. "We definitely needed this," Thompson said. "It was big for us to finally get going. We had a rough preseason running the ball. Last week was rough also. So to be able to go out there and get over 200 yards rushing was great. Now it's on us. We've got to continue to keep it going."
Cousins capped the winning 70-yard drive by finding Grant in the front left corner of the end zone. Even that drive was run heavy, with Samaje Perine carrying seven times. "It's always good to make plays in the passing game," Cousins said. "But make no mistake, it's always nice to hand off to Chris Thompson and watch him just go 50, 60 yards for a touchdown. So I've got no complaints, either."
Washington ran the ball seven straight times on a drive capped by Thompson's 7-yard run for a 10-0 lead. "I don't know how many times that happens in a season where you have an entire drive of running the ball," Cousins said. "You have to credit the offensive line."
The Rams had tied the game at 20 on Greg Zuerlein's 40-yard field goal with 7:16 to play. It was set up on a trick play, when punter Johnny Hekker completed a 28-yard pass to Josh Reynolds to the Washington 17. But two penalties stalled the drive and the Rams had to settle for the field goal. After Grant's score, Mason Foster sealed the win with 1:37 to go by intercepting Jared Goff. Cousins had a much better day than in a season-opening loss to Philadelphia, when he had three turnovers. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions.